The secrets behind the success of the world’s education superpowers

As a teacher in an inner-city school, Lucy Crehan was exasperated with ever-changing government policy claiming to be based on lessons from ‘top-performing’ education systems. She became curious about what was really going on in classrooms of the countries whose teenagers ranked top in the world in reading, maths and science.

Determined to dig deeper, Lucy set off on a personal educational odyssey through Finland, Japan, Singapore, Shanghai and Canada, teaching in schools, immersing herself in their very different cultures and discovering the surprising truths about school life that don’t appear in the charts and graphs.

Cleverlands documents her journey, weaving together her experiences with research on policy, history, psychology and culture to offer extensive new insights and provide answers to three fundamental questions:

How do these countries achieve their high scores? What can others learn from them? And what is the price of this success?

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a major breakthrough Sir Michael Barber

a remarkable and original book … should be required reading Dylan Wiliam

Mind-expanding and topical… completely fascinating. As a serving primary school governor, I read it avidly, and it made me dream of an education system that is designed by thoughtful, experienced and caring teachers. Caroline Sanderson The Bookseller

This is a must read, not only for teachers, but anyone involved in the education or coaching of young people today. Sir Clive Woodward OBE

Extraordinary insights, of value to those looking with curiosity at other cultures, and those wishing to reflect on their own practices. This is a book which should be read cover-to-cover by teachers, parents and policy-makers. Tim Oates, OBE